If you’re wondering what’s going on now behind that blue fence, FUMCFW Construction Administrator Mark Sorley reports that construction is going well — running right on schedule after making up most if not all the construction days lost due to the epic freeze that shut everything down for multiple days in mid-February.
Most importantly, the vaults will now be ready and waiting for the electrical transformers set to arrive from Oncor June 1. The transformers will come in parts that will be carried down into the vaults and assembled underground. Our “power on” date, Mark says, is scheduled for August 2, at which time the new transformers will begin supplying the additional power needed to run the Phase I expansion as well as the future Phase II.
Mark is also quick to praise our contractors, a joint venture of Byrne Construction Services and Scott Tucker Construction, headed up by our own longtime church member and Trustee Bill Scott, for their diligence and flexibility. “I am continually amazed by how these guys are working with us and keeping things on track, finding solutions, and working tirelessly to keep everything on schedule.”
A great example of this “above and beyond” work, Mark adds, is how they worked additional hours above and beyond the scope to do the noisiest demolition to remove the stairwell, sidewalk, and concrete up against the existing children’s wing so as not to disrupt the children’s naptimes during the school week. “And they didn’t even charge us any extra,” Mark marvels. “These are just awesome people we have working out there,” he says. “These guys are really on top of it all — I couldn’t be more pleased with their work so far.”
In our last update on February 26, our contractors had just poured the floor of the vault and would next pour the sides, followed by the roof. With all that work complete and fully cured, the process of backfilling around the sides of the vault is also now complete.
Mark explains that when the vault project is fully complete, the lid of the vault will be covered with dirt and sod so that the only thing visible of this enormous part of our project will be the two access hatches near the sidewalk on the street side.
As the grading on the exterior of the vault is being finished, Mark says our concentration now is on the vault interiors and hardware, as well as preparing to tie existing electrical service to the transformers in anticipation of their June 1 delivery.
In addition to the vault, Mark says the contractors have also been busy moving the existing gas main and installing a temporary gas line, as well as installing a sanitary sewer line that will serve the new addition. (If you happened to be in room 350, you might have noticed this incredible racket as the construction crew discovered solid rock just six or so inches beneath the topsoil.) A day or three of jackhammering ensued, and Mark now reports that another piece of the of the project’s infrastructure is now closer to completion.
“We had so much going on all at once it was amazing,” he adds. “A big shout-out to BST for keeping everything on schedule and according to plan!”